Blair Parkes is continually working on new music, always interested in fresh approaches to the songs that effortlessly come to him.
‘Always Running’ is release no. 38 in Parkes’ 31-year career, a short, eight-song album that fuses rock, electronica, and more than a touch of shoegaze.
The album has an upbeat sense of urgency in the way the songs propel forward, while an abstract darkness or sense of unease is often present in the lyrics, though the melodic hooks on the title track and Heavy Lifting balance any such disquiet.
Sonically it often takes Parkes back to sounds explored earlier in his career. The angelic electronica in All I Saw is pure L.E.D.s while Sweetest Darkness and new single Heavy Lifting bring to mind his work with Creeley, or All Fall Down, his first band on Flying Nun.
Produced and performed by Parkes from his home studio in New Brighton, with drums by Ryan Chin and backing vocals by Miss Mercury, ‘Almost Running’ stands up as some of the perennial Christchurch artist’s best work.
(Again) beautifully crafted, with a sense of glee present throughout, and a sound that is at once immediate and timeless.